Day Three Hundred Fifty Two, January 9, 2012

it is getting louder

As China gets ready to shed the old ‘rabbit’ year and to welcome in the new ‘dragon’ year, fireworks can be heard all over the city. Fireworks, which were originally invented in China and became popular as early as the Song Dynasty, have a very strong place in the culture and daily lives of the Chinese. Not only is the new year celebrated with an explosion of fireworks, also shop openings and moving to a new home, among other important events. This year we decided to stay in Shanghai for the New Year holiday, and the city is gradually getting louder and louder as we approach the big day next week.

lighting up the firecrackers

photos taken: boys playing with firecrackers in the city streets.

Day Forty, March 3, 2011

It's still Christmas in Shanghai!

I remember when we moved to Shanghai five years ago being completely taken off guard by sellers in markets wishing me a ‘Melly Kissmas’ in early June! Now, after years of living here, I am totally used to seeing huge Merry Christmas signs, Christmas trees and lights all around Shanghai late into the Spring. As a matter of fact I will not feel settled if they were not there 🙂

Tonight we just came back from a sushi dinner with friends and around the place where the restaurant was it looked like Santa would be showing up any minute. Trees, presents, rain deer, the works! It has become a custom to turn the Christmas lights into Chinese New Year’s decorations, by adding , in this case, a few rabbits, a few lanterns, and recycling the lights. But no one seems to think of removing the Christmas signs, so they end up hanging around till mid spring and sometimes later.

But this is Shanghai and why we love it!

happy chris-chinese new year

Day Sixteen, February 7, 2011

Flames from hotpots at the end of a Chinese New Year's feast

Today we took the long trip back from Boracay to Shanghai and straight into the loud fireworks and street festivities of the Chinese New Year of the rabbit. I took an evening walk along Yunnan Xi Lu, the street that gets decorated with thousands of colored lanterns every Chinese New Year. After about a hundred lantern and street shots, I stopped at the back of a restaurant where workers were cleaning the hot pots after a feast. Hot pots meals are a typical and popular dish in Shanghai among both locals and expatriates. The flames were just glorious. Good to be back home. I never thought I would call China home, but somehow it feels like this now.